How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33942
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
13262538
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

I left my husband due to his excessive drinking and abusive

Resolved Question:

I left my husband due to his excessive drinking and abusive behaviour 2 years ago with our two daughters aged 3 & 8 and moved 250 miles away. We have been going through the divorce process for 18 months. He is demanding, through his solicitor, that the children stay with him for a few days during holidays, but I am very worried that he is still drinking. My solicitor told me about a hair strand test but that I can't take him to court to get one, I have to wait for him to take me to court with a contact order. She also said that I can't deny him access because that would go against me if we did go to court. I am at a loss and feel my solicitor is not very helpful. May be you are able to advise me more satisfactorily.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What contact does he have at the moment?
Has he any convictions for drink related offences?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare


For the past year contact has taken place roughly every 6-8 weeks with him visiting the children and taking them out for the day. His solicitor proposed specific dates for daytime visits which would eventually lead to overnight stays at his house next April and then every other holiday. I agreed to the daytime dates but my ex has not always stuck to them, sometimes contacting me 2 days beforehand to change the date. We have requested that he no longer contacts me but he still sends nasty texts to me through the children's mobile phone or gets my eldest daughter to pass messages. This evening for instance, he asked her if she had asked me about staying over, and that to tell me he will continue to ask until I say yes. It's making me look like the bad guy. The other issue is that he has a new partner, who the children have only met once for half an hour, and I feel they should get to know her a bit better before spending several days with her. My youngest is only 3 and may not react well to being away from me for long.


He has not had any convictions for drink related offences or for domestic abuse.


Many thanks


Lou

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How long has he been with this partner?
Have the children ever spent nights away from you with anyone else before now?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He has been with his partner for a year. My eldest has had sleepovers and been away from me a few times - she is keen to stay with her dad but my youngest has not been away from me and tends to sleep in my bed most nights. She doesnt understand what staying over really means.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Is there any reason why his partner cannot be part of the visiting contact ongoing at the moment?
Have you considered a trial sleepover with a family member so that your youngest starts to be able to stay away from you?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The only reason his partner isn't part of visiting contact is that she chooses not to.


Sorry I did not mention this or make it clear - I am meant to be responding to a letter his solicitor sent last week wanting the children for 23 - 27 December. We do not want this to happen, but I want to reply concisely, with proposed dates which includes a gradual plan of several meetings with his partner, maybe a night in a hotel etc until in April they have a couple of days at this house. But I am hesitating because of the drinking. I have a Team around the Family which includes the school, social services, health visitor etc who agree with me, that we need proof he is not drinking heavily before the children stay with him, but I find what they advise and what my solicitor says I can do legally are poles apart.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Your proposals for moving on are good - other than the suggestion of two night in your home - it would not be good for you or the children.
In the absence of independent evidence of his drinking you have a problem - but it would not be unreasonable to ask him to have a liver function test via his GP before the first overnight contact.
Such a test is not costly and would highlight regular excessive consumption.
If he refuses then it is reasonable for you to say that overnight contact cannot progress - and if it does go to court you are NOT likely to be seen as being unreasonable
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry I meant his home not mine. :)


When I first left him for a trial separation he went to addictive behaviours therapy and had liver function tests, which despite what he was drinking, were normal. He was functioning normally and would only drink in the evening. He would have 2 pints at pub after work, 2 cans of beer at home, a bottle of red wine, and then either another bottle of red wine or half a bottle of whisky, every single night. Since leaving for good I don't know what his drinking levels are like. They got better for a while before he met his partner but after that I don't know because we severed contact. I don't care if he drinks himself to death every day I just don't want him to do it when he's looking after my kids. What about some sort of contract where he promises not drink alcohol when the children are with him? Apart from liver test and hair strand tests are there any other tests?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am pleased about the house - it did seem out of context!
You can certainly ask for a written assurance about the drinking.
There are blood tests - but they are expensive I am afraid
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok thanks. How do I stop him from repeatedly asking my daughter about the over night stays and sending me texts on her phone?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Does he still have a solicitor acting for him?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


yes he does

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Then write to him and say that your ex's behaviour is inappropriate and if it does not stop it will impact on the issue of contact
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


thank you, XXXXX XXXXX very helpful.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - I hope all goes well
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33942
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Kasare

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    204
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    204
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TG/TGraham12/2012-7-17_81212_bigstockBusinessHandshake508163.64x64.jpg Thomas's Avatar

    Thomas

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    164
    UK solicitor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    7
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    340
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/GL/Glossolicitor/2013-5-14_214834_TWMParkinsonWright.64x64.jpg Glos solicitor's Avatar

    Glos solicitor

    Family Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2
    10 years experience in all areas of family law, now specialising in cases involving social services and children
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CL/clairep80/2013-8-25_191218_dreamstimexs267279822nd.64x64.jpg Clare's Avatar

    Clare

    Family Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    4742
    I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HH/hhlaw/2015-12-8_22495_unnamedlanczosbicubic.64x64.jpg Harris's Avatar

    Harris

    Family Law Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    1351
    Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters